It’s no secret that the DC Extended Universe has been received rather less poorly than the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has been releasing a slew of critically and commercially successful movies since 2008 compared to the struggling DCEU. Acclaimed director Kevin Smith realised this – which led him to ask Avengers: Infinity War screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely what they would do if they were creatively in charge of the DCEU on his recent podcast.
“You guys have made wonderful films about people,”said the 47-year-old filmmaker, “You don’t make movies about super heroes, you make movies about people who have these powers, and they happen to have these powers. That being said, if somebody offered you a f—ton of money and swayed you to the dark side and said, ‘Fix these f—ing movies,’ how would you fix the DC universe?”
“I mean, I would look at what Marvel did out of necessity, in that they didn’t have their A-list characters,” replied Markus, “They didn’t have Spider-Man. They didn’t have the X-Men. They went down a line and found a, I mean,he’s pretty f***ing famous, he’s Iron Man, but he wasn’t there, and they made a really good movie out of it.”
Here, Markus is referencing the fact that the DCEU used the DC Universe’s most popular characters from the getgo (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) as opposed to Marvel’s approach of using not-quite-as-popular characters such as Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. The fact they did not have the movie rights to Spider-Man and X-Men at the time of the MCU’s conception forced them to take this creative route.
Markus continued. “I might put Batman and Superman and everybody else, I mean Wonder Woman is doing fine, aside for a second. Go through the vast world and go, ‘That guy,’ or ‘That girl,’ and go, ‘Let’s just make a really good movie and not a universe and see what happens.’ There’s a lot of spaghetti being thrown at the wall.”
“My familiarity with the DC universe is not that great but I can just say, strategically, ‘Make one,'” McFeely said. “To quote Justice League, ‘Save one person.'”
“You would fix them with their own advice!” Smith joked.
DCEU movies have grossed $3,768,298,638 worldwide but have mostly received average to unfavorable reviews from movie critics. In comparison, MCU movies have grossed over $16.8 billion worldwide and have relatively favorable reviews. The most critically acclaimed movie to come out of this universe was 2017’s Wonder Woman which garnered a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and praise for Gal Gadot’s acting and Pat Jenkins’ ability as a director.
Do you agree with Markus and McFeely? How would you improve the DCEU? Sound off in the comments below!
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